oct 30, 2014

Water Works Design Makes A Splash

SCAPE creates schematic vision for a new public gateway to Mississippi River waterfall.


oct 29, 2014

Living Breakwaters Wins Buckminster Fuller Challenge !!!

SCAPE receives socially responsible design's highest award!


oct 26, 2014

Kate to Lecture at University of Rhode Island

Weaver Auditorium, Kingston Campus
Thursday, October 30 / 7:00 PM


oct 24, 2014

Join Kate at the New York Botanical Garden Symposium

The Changing Nature of Nature in Cities
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM / November 7, 2014



Water Works Design Makes A Splash

oct 30, 2014

SCAPE Water Works

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SCAPE / LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE and ROGERS PARTNERS Architects+Urban Designers create schematic vision for a new public gateway to the Mississippi River’s only true waterfall.

Minneapolis, Minn. – For 12,000 years, the Mississippi River has powered through Minnesota, where it has scrawled a deep gorge like a signature through limestone and prairie. In the heart of Minneapolis lies St. Anthony Falls, the power source around which the city was built. The Mississippi’s only true waterfall, this natural wonder receded over millennia before being locked in its current state at the St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam. It is this unique geography, geology and history that inspired a schematic vision for a new destination park on St. Anthony Falls, developed by SCAPE/ LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE and ROGERS PARTNERS Architects + Urban Designers for the Minneapolis Parks Foundation in partnership with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. The design team, which includes James Lima Planning + Design and SRF Consulting, conveyed the vision to the Minneapolis Park Board on Wednesday, October 22, in the form of a design presentation and 3D flythrough animation.

“The Water Works site is where Minneapolis became the city it is today and has long been a point of convergence: between water and land, industry and recreation, and of cultures from across the world. St. Anthony Falls has attracted and captivated people – first Native Americans, and later, settlers who harnessed the power of the falls through a massive intake canal then unheard-of in size, turned Minneapolis into the world’s milling capital, and spawned timeless global brands like Pillsbury and General Mills,” said Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Parks Foundation. “With great talent and skill, and through a deeply collaborative community-based process, SCAPE and Rogers Partners have created a schematic vision for a four-season park on St. Anthony Falls that meets the needs of 21st century residents and visitors, while celebrating and reactivating the most compelling features of the site.”

Water Works Design
The design for the site weaves together heritage ruins, local ecology, and recreational systems into a coherent civic space on the Central Riverfront. It forms a series of flexible landscape “rooms” and viewing terraces, links bike and pedestrian ways, and celebrates the historic gatehouse and canal in the form of a central interpretive plaza. This new Water Works landscape and park pavilion together unlock access and opportunity for Minnesotans to see, hear, touch and own the downtown waterfront.

Kate Orff of SCAPE, Principal in Charge of the project, stated, “We are so thrilled to have achieved this major milestone in the design process and, with community support, advance a park design that engages Mississippi River ecology and industrial heritage. This park will become a significant regional attraction and also a local neighborhood amenity. “

Rob Rogers, founder of Rogers Partners said, “This is a remarkable opportunity to re-link the Minneapolis downtown with its storied waterfront. Through significant new urban connections, and a recreational and educational pavilion, the park will provide an all-season place of respite and delight right at the site of the city’s origins – St. Anthony Falls.”

Called “Water Works” because the city’s original water supply and fire-fighting pumping stations were located on the site in the 19th century, the strategic seven-acre urban location encompasses Minneapolis Park Board-owned land between Portland Avenue South and the Third Avenue Bridge, and between First Street and the Mississippi River. The Water Works site is an important convergence of multiple riverfront destinations and physical features in addition to St. Anthony Falls, including the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, the Stone Arch Bridge, lock and dam, historic industrial ruins, the Mill City Museum and Guthrie Theater, as well as a parkway, trails, and Mill Ruins and Gold Medal parks. Like the city itself, this site has grown to meet the changing needs of the people living in it from navigation, to industrial, to recreational and residential.

Cost, Phasing and Future Considerations
Water Works schematic design ran concurrently with the Minneapolis Park Board’s Central Riverfront Regional Park Master Plan revision, and will be included as an addendum to the updated Master Plan. The Minneapolis Park Board is slated to adopt the revised Master Plan in January 2015, following a 45-day comment period beginning mid-November of this year. In May 2015, the Metropolitan Parks and Open Space Commission will vote to adopt the Master Plan, making the regional park eligible for regional park funding.

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation estimates full execution of the Water Works design to cost $19-$23 million, with development occurring in two phases, beginning with the Pavilion and Mezzanine level as early as 2016, followed by the Canal & Gatehouse. The design team identified a number of contingencies vis-a-vis now-buried ruins that will require further exploration. The Parks Foundation is committed to providing private-sector support for Water Works and other parks projects, through philanthropic investment in parks development and stewardship.

Another consideration is the future of the Minneapolis Lock and Dam, immediately adjacent to the site. Slated for closure at the end of 2014, the Lock’s public space will be explored as a future Federally managed visitor center.

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Developed for the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, "Water Works will be a destination park and neighborhood amenity with nationally significant historic features and year-round appeal.

Water Works Aerial Rendering


Minneapolis Parks Foundation
Janette Aldrich Law  612-822-3407 direct 612-306-4430 mobile

Alexis Landes 212-462-2628  alexis@scapestudio.com

ROGERS PARTNERS Architects + Urban Designers
Hausman LLC - Troy Vázquez-Cain  646-205-4242  cain@hausmanllc.com

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation (MPF) is an independent non-profit serving Minneapolis by securing knowledge, talent and funds to improve and sustain the city’s legacy of world-class parks. Through the generosity of donors and grantmakers, MPF provides private-sector leadership and funding for RiverFirst and Water Works, adaptive reuse urban design projects that build on our community’s 100-year legacy of visionary parks. Since 2011, MPF has worked collaboratively with multiple government and non-profit partners on these parks projects, as well as our signature Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series. The Minneapolis park system enhances the quality of life of the city and contributes to social and economic environments that strengthen communities throughout the region. For more information or to support our work, please visit MplsParksFoundation.org.


SCAPE/ LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE is an award winning landscape architecture and urban design firm based in New York City, with a focus on integrating sustainable concepts and community driven design into the civic realm. The office has won National and Local ASLA Awards for both built and speculative work, from projects ranging from harbor wide planning, to waterfront parks and open space, to school playgrounds. Their groundbreaking project Oyster-tecture was exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in 2010. This project recently culminated in a $60 million implementation award from HUD for a project titled Living Breakwaters for the South Shore of Staten Island, a comprehensive resiliency project that integrates risk reduction, ecological regeneration and community schools in a synthetic approach to climate change for local community. This project was awarded the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Prize, socially responsible design’s highest award. SCAPE founder Kate Orff was named a United States Artist Fellow in 2012.

About ROGERS PARTNERS Architects + Urban Designers
ROGERS PARTNERS Architects + Urban Designers is a New York City based comprehensive, cross-disciplinary studio that focuses on the connective tissue of cities and public spaces. ROGERS PARTNERS includes architects, urban designers and landscape architects with deep experience in programmatically rich city-building. Their projects have won more than 60 design and industry awards and have been presented in prestigious exhibitions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  Current projects include the redesign of Constitution Gardens on the National Mall in Washington, DC; Syracuse University’s new Energy Campus, Syracuse, NY; the new headquarters for international advertising firm Droga5, New York, NY; SandRidge Energy Commons, Oklahoma City, OK; and Mid-Main, Houston’s first transit-oriented mixed use development, Houston, TX.